The Board of Trustees of Broadwater Academy announces that Francis M. Ryan has been selected to serve as the new Head of School effective July 1, 2020. The announcement was shared with the school faculty and administration earlier this week by Thomas Anderson, Chair of the Board of Trustees. The board voted unanimously in favor of Ryan’s appointment.
Pamela von Eiff, Board Treasurer, commented, “We were fortunate to have several high caliber candidates. We believe Fran’s background and experience are the right strategic fit for Broadwater’s future. We are thrilled to welcome him!” Mr. Ryan will follow the leadership of Julie Badger (CPA, Parent, Class of 2012 and former trustee), who will continue to serve as Interim Head of School through the transition into summer 2020. The current Board of Trustees would like to thank Mrs. Badger for her invaluable leadership of Broadwater during the past year. Her grace, humor and financial savvy have set the table for a smooth transition.
Mr. Ryan comes to Broadwater after spending much of his career at Rumsey Hall School, a K-9 country boarding and day school located in rural northwestern Connecticut. He started his career as a high school Spanish and ESL teacher in the Massachusetts public schools. At Rumsey Hall, he served in several capacities and rose through the ranks of the administration to become Assistant Headmaster. Throughout his tenure, he has continued to teach, coach and serve as a dorm parent, in addition to his administrative duties. As Assistant Head he operates as an administrative and community leader of the school. He has years of experience in enrollment, curriculum development, hiring and training teachers, and school fund-raising. He has been instrumental in school accreditation self-studies and issues surrounding inclusivity and multiculturalism. In addition, he manages the financial aid program for the school. He is known as a strategic thinker in the independent school community.
Ryan is excited to bring this wide-ranging experience along with additional leading efforts in the “character” movement in independent schools to Broadwater. He is a sought-after speaker on topics of enrollment and family perspectives and relationships with independent schools. He has served the independent school community in many capacities at the national and international levels and has cultivated an international network of educators since the late 1990s. According to Tom Farmen, Headmaster Emeritus of Rumsey Hall, “Fran Ryan is a wizard at enrollment management. He has strong small-town values and a common sense approach and can relate effectively to students and parents from a wide range of backgrounds.”
Ryan brings a strong sense of responsibility regarding the crucial role a school plays in a young person’s life as well as the community at large. In his statement of educational philosophy, he states:
“The ever-changing social fabric of our American and world communities challenges a good school to provide an island of stability and moral purpose. A dedicated faculty must guide young people toward joyful academic pursuit, team spirit, and a sense of community. Good schools produce responsible citizens, creative thinkers, and healthy, productive adults. Our challenge is to recognize the true mission of a good school, to build on our strengths, and to make sure our institution thrives into perpetuity.”
Ryan is a product of independent schools. He graduated from Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, and obtained his B.A. with honors from Connecticut College. While pursuing graduate coursework at Wesleyan University, he was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Memorial Fellowship, to travel to Japan to conduct research and consultation on their educational system. Ryan also obtained an MBA from the University of Connecticut where he won the “Philanthropy Challenge.”
Ryan was an avid oarsman and has raced and has coached in national and international regattas since high school. He is excited to move to the Shore and looks forward to being out on the water and outdoors as much as possible. He and his wife, Whitney, have two children, a son who will be graduating from UC-Berkeley this spring and a daughter who will be a sophomore at Bucknell University in the Fall.